Drabble Rallies To Clinch 4-3 Win For UW Over Bucs

Feb. 7, 2010

SEATTLE - Washington men's tennis looked to its senior captain this afternoon when the outcome was in doubt, and Derek Drabble rose to the challenge, reeling off the final six games to win his No. 3 singles match in three sets and clinch a 4-3 win for the 24th-ranked Huskies over 60th-ranked East Tennessee State. Washington wins the Great Northwest Shootout for the first time since 2007 and improves to 7-1 on the season.

Drabble was facing a talented freshman, Jesus Bandres, who is ranked 51st nationally. Early on both players held serve routinely, with Drabble breaking late to win the first set, 6-4. The second set went to a tiebreak, and after overcoming a 0-5 hole, Drabble had a match point at 7-6 in the breaker, but Bandres fought it off and converted his next set point to win the breaker, 9-7, and force a third set. Bandres broke for a 2-0 lead in the third, but Drabble broke back quickly, and from there his play accelerated while Bandres tired. Drabble pulled away and served out the match at 6-2.

'Derek had been struggling his past few matches, and (assistant coach Chris Russell) was on his court Friday and said he was doing so much better, he just wasn't getting the reward for it yet,' said head coach Matt Anger. 'Today he was able to get the reward.'

Junior Tobi Obenaus had one of his best outings this season, coming up with a steady 6-3, 6-0 win at No. 5 singles over Robin Akser to give the Dawgs a 2-0 lead. But the next two matches would go the Buccaneers' way. Grega Teraz, ranked 82nd, held off freshman Kyle McMorrow, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 2 singles. Then sophomore Martin Kildahl dropped his No. 4 singles match against Sander Gille by a 6-4, 6-4 count.

Junior Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan should contend for his second Pac-10 Player of the Week honor of the season, after he pulled through at the No. 1 singles spot against 89th-ranked Charles Bottoni. Nedunchezhiyan controlled the early and late stages of the match with his usual array of big serves, big forehands, and great speed to upend Bottoni 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. His win put the Dawgs up 3-2 and set the stage for Drabble. The Chennai, India native went 4-0 in his singles and doubles matches this weekend, and beat two ranked players in singles.

Washington led doubles by at least one break early in every match but the Buccaneers fought back to make it tight in the end. Nedunchezhiyan and McMorrow saw a 6-3 lead go to 6-6 before they held serve and broke in the final game to beat Teraz and Bottoni, 8-6 in the No. 1 match. ETSU evened the point at 1-1 when the 52nd-ranked pair of Gille and Bandres overcame Drabble and Kildahl, 9-7, at No. 2. In the No. 3 match, Obenaus and Rosinski raced out to a 6-2 lead against Akser and Isaza, but the Buccaneers rallied with four-straight to tie. Rosinski and Obenaus got a break right back, however, and served it out to clinch the point.

'Nearly all of our matches have been tough like this,' said Anger. 'We had one down in Arkansas, we had it last week in Illinois even though both final scores didn't quite reflect it, and it was the same this weekend. We watched East Tennessee play Mississippi State last night and so we knew how tough they would be, so again this was a big win for us.'

The Huskies will have the next week off, returning to action on Saturday, Feb. 20, for a 3 p.m. dual against Notre Dame.

Washington Men's Tennis
Great Northwest Shootout
February 7, 2010 - Seattle, Wash.
Nordstrom Tennis Center

No. 24 Washington 4, No. 60 East Tennessee State 3

1) Nedunchezhiyan/McMorrow (UW) def. Teraz/Bottoni (ETSU), 8-6
2) (52) Gille/Bandres (ETSU) def. Drabble/Kildahl (UW), 9-7
3) Obenaus/Rosinski (UW) def. Isaza/Akser (ETSU), 8-6
Order of finish: 1, 2, 3

1) Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan (UW) def. (89) Charles Bottoni (ETSU), 6-1, 3-6, 6-1
2) (82) Grega Teraz (ETSU) def. Kyle McMorrow (UW), 6-3, 6-4
3) Derek Drabble (UW) def. (51) Jesus Bandres (ETSU), 6-4, 6-7 (7), 6-2
4) Sander Gille (ETSU) def. Martin Kildahl (UW), 6-4, 6-4
5) Tobi Obenaus (UW) def. Robin Akser (ETSU), 6-3, 6-0
6) J.C. Ramirez (ETSU) def. Alex Rosinski (UW), 7-6, 6-4
Order of finish: 5, 2, 4, 1, 3, 6

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